- How do I open a bank account? Do I need to wait until I have my work permit?
In order to open a local bank account, you will need to have your valid work permit (Employed Pass) endorsed on your Passport. You will also need a letter from your hiring Company stating your employment and an initial deposit (varies from bank to bank, usually between MYR250 – MYR1000). Some banks may further request for a copy of your Tenancy Agreement as proof of your residential address.
- Can I use my home country driving licence to drive in Malaysia? Otherwise, will I be able to convert to a Malaysian Driver’s Licence?
As of 24th September 2018 the conversion of Foreign Drivers Licence to Malaysian Driving Licence had been suspended and this applies to both Automatic and Manual Conversion. This will however not affect those who are Diplomatic Pass holders, Singapore driving licence holders (Malaysians who convert their driving licences to obtain Singapore driving licence).
However, Expats who hold Driver’s License from countries which are part of the Geneva Convention will still be able to drive in Malaysia provided that their Driver’s License are in English, Malay or dual language and is still valid. If their Driver’s License are not in the English or Malay language, a Certified Translation will need to be attained from their embassy. A copy of the translated Driver’s License should be carried in the vehicle along with the Original Drivers Licence and a copy of Section 28 of the Road Transport Act (APJ) 1987 .
If you are holding a driver’s licence from a country not part of the Geneva Convention or you are not a Diplomatic Pass holder, or a Singapore driving licence holder (Malaysians who convert their driving licences to obtain Singapore driving licence) you will need to apply for a Malaysian Driver’s License.
On the other hand, if you have an International Driving Permit, it must be used together with your respective country’s domestic driving licences to enable you to drive in Malaysia. Alternatively, you are advised to apply for a Malaysian driving licence via local authorized driving schools.
- Will I need to pay the realtor a service fee for helping me find a home?
In the event a realtor need to co-broke on the property with another realtor, he/she may request a home-finding fee/commission from the tenant. However, this is not common practice. Our carefully selected panel of realtors take commission from the landlord only and not from the tenant.
- Why do I need to use a panel realtor? Can’t I appoint one myself?
Our panel realtors are carefully appointed after due diligence. We ensure that they are registered, have a good track record and will be able to assist with negotiations with the landlord in the event issues arise with the property.
You can most definitely appoint a realtor on your own and we will be more than happy to work with your appointed realtor as well as offer you the support you need to finalise your lease. However, we find non-panel realtors are less co-operative in times of dispute with the landlord or when complaints about the property are made post move-in. As we are committed to having your best interest in mind at all times, Pathfinder has a strict policy of not accepting commission from realtors.
- How can I get domestic help (e.g. part/full-time maid)? How much will I need to pay the maid?
As there is a very limited supply of local maids, you will need to opt for foreign maids either from Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, India or Sri Lanka. As Filipina maids are able to converse in English, they are the preferred option among expatriates. If you have already sourced your own candidate, you will be able to handle the application process yourself directly with the Immigration Department of Malaysia, saving you a sizeable amount in cost. Alternatively, you may use a registered foreign maid agency to assist you. A full-time live-in Filipina maid would expect to be paid the equivalent of USD400-550 per month with minimum 1 day a week off. Out of goodwill, some employers would even offer to pay for the maid’s return flight ticket for their trip back home once a year.
In the more popular expat residential areas, it is not difficult at all to find part-time maids, and this is done usually through word of mouth or recommendation from a neighbour or friend living in the vicinity. Part-time maids usually charge MYR20-MYR25 an hour. Sometimes, depending on where they are travelling from, they may request transportation allowance.
- Will my spouse, holding a Dependent Pass be able to work in Malaysia?
Unfortunately, the law strictly prohibits a Dependent Pass holder from working in Malaysia. In order to find employment in the country, your spouse will need to convert his/her visa to an Employment Pass. He/she will have to make an application for the Employment Pass via the local hiring company to the Immigration Department of Malaysia.
- How long does an Employment Pass application take to be approved?
If the hiring company is already registered with the Immigration Department of Malaysia Expatriate Services Division (ESD), the Employment Pass application is usually approved within 21 working days. However, if the hiring company has yet to be registered with the ESD, the process can take much longer – even up to 3 months.